On Friday, September 27, 2019, I sat in the Law Office of Attorney Tony McDonald for the express purpose of listening to the audio file of the meeting between Michael Quinn Sullivan, President of Empower Texans, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and the former Chairman of the Texas Republican House Caucus Dustin Burrows. Before I heard the audio, I had written the following:
“Recent credible allegations concerning a meeting with Republican Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Republican Chairman Dustin Burrows, and Empower Texans President Michael Quinn Sullivan leave little room to doubt that an extraordinary level of corruption and subterfuge has infiltrated our Texas state government. Offering press credentials in exchange for certain favors to be performed by Mr. Sullivan, including targeting 10 Republican incumbents running for re-election in 2020 to be taken out, is abhorrent. For more information, go to Empower Texans, Texas Scorcard, and your state representatives.
In light of the serious and credible accusations surrounding the particulars of this meeting, one begins to wonder what else is being done behind our backs in Austin. Could other back room deals by Speaker Bonnen be the reason we suffered enormous legislative losses in the 2019 86th Legislative Session? Does this question begin to explain why no Republican Party of Texas Platform priorities were passed? Do you wonder how Speaker Bonnen will lead us if he follows Governor Abbott down the road of more compromises on stricter and stricter gun control laws?
If your conclusions draw you to a place of doubt and unease about Speaker Bonnen’s and Chairman Burrows’ probity (the quality of having strong moral principles; honesty and decency - from the Apple dictionary) before, during, and after this infamous meeting with Michael Quinn Sullivan, please join American Liberty Forum in signing the Resolution calling for the immediate resignations of Speaker Bonnen and Chairman Burrows from their Texas House seats.
A copy of the Resolution will be sent to Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Republican Party of Texas State Chairman James Dickey, Texas State Senator Bob Hall, SD 2, Texas State Representative Morgan Meyer, HD108, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Representative Dustin Burrows, Republican Party Dallas County Chair, Rodney Anderson and SD16 SREC committee members, Susan Fountain and Randy Dunning. It’s time to make a difference!”
After I listened to the audio, David Carruth, Forum Chair of American Liberty Forum, and Russ Ramsland, Founder of Park Cities Preston Hollow Leadership Forum (newly named American Liberty Forum) join me in standing by this Resolution calling for the immediate resignations of Speaker Bonnen and Rep. Dustin Burrows.
While some say that Burrows was caught off guard and did not intend to be a part of this sordid quid pro quo offer from Bonnen, that he got roped in at the last minute, and that he really is a nice guy and votes conservatively (even though his Empower Texans Fiscal Index is an abysmal 47), Burrows still has to go. If Burrows really is a man of integrity, as one man suggested to me after listening to the audio, then Burrows must take one for the team. Do the honorable thing by resigning, admit that he should have never supported a single solitary word that Bonnen uttered in that meeting, and certainly not “expose the dogs” (his words) who voted against taxpayer funded lobbying.
While taxpayer funded lobbying is a terrible thing, an even more terrible thing is the unmitigated, unchecked corrupt wheeling and dealing behind our backs. All for the sake of the Party, not for the sake of we the people. Bonnen’s suggestion that MQS go “pop some guys” and Burrows’ providing the hit list because they didn’t vote for their “benchmark bill” is not surprising in this current dog-eat-dog environment, but to tie their actions to offering a House press pass is whorish.
Of course I support Burrows’ desire to pass a bill banning taxpayer funded lobbying, but what about life bills, real property tax reform bills, bills to save our historic monuments and protect our election integrity and electric grid?? Not to mention forcing the horrendous mental health bills down our throats and increasing government spending by 12%! Would they “kill off 1 or 2 or 3” as a punishment for not voting for those bills?
I was tempted to provide exact phrases from the audio to leave no doubt in your minds that something either criminal or improper happened in that meeting and that the two perpetrators, Bonnen and Burrows, must resign. I decided against it because the language is so disgusting, I couldn’t bring myself to smear another human being the way Bonnen did.
One final point must be addressed. Some have suggested that MQS was wrong to make the audio file known and available to others. He is not wrong. In light of Bonnen’s initial denial of the contents of the meeting, MQS had an obligation to bring forth the evidence. We the people have a duty to hold our elected officials accountable, and we have a right to know what they are doing. Even if there were some level of expectation of confidentiality, verbal or otherwise, MQS was under no burden or imperative to remain silent. In fact, quite the opposite is the case, lest his silence make him a party to the offense.
While MQS’ remaining silent in the name of honoring the expectation of confidentiality advances his own moral piety, an evil would be allowed to progress unchecked. Because God alone is the supreme sovereign authority, honoring His holiness and righteousness trumps any humanistic notions of absolutism. Our choices never stand alone in a vacuum; they are always interconnected with and subservient to Almighty God and His Law. Bonnen’s reckless and lawless actions deprived him of any claims of confidentiality. He does not have a rightful claim to MQS’ silence at our expense or at the expense of the transcendent purposes of God Almighty.
Help clean up Austin by signing the Resolution calling for the Immediate Resignations of Speaker Bonnen and Rep. Burrows. For the love of God and Country and even the Grand Old Party!
June 18, 2019 Editorial, JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America – We the People, Commentary published in Texas Scorecard
Well, this is tiresome. From the Governor, Lt. Governor and most Republican legislators, it’s as if a collective amnesia has set in or a case of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Speaker Bonnen is the exception. He doesn’t even pretend not to understand. Bonnen declared he doesn’t give a tinker’s about conservatives, warned Republicans not to challenge each other or Democrats for House seats, and openly supports Democrat Joe Moody for Speaker next session should Democrats take the nine seats they need to take control. Meanwhile, Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey has nothing to say about the Republican Speaker’s open support of Democrats.
Governor Abbott and Lt. Dan know exactly why conservative leaders and activists are not happy with the results of the session. They simply do not care. They worked very hard with Speaker Bonnen to make sure Republican legislators stopped caring about the conservatives back home. Getting along with Democrats and divesting themselves of conservative principles were far more important.
There is no Republican Plan for Legislative Success or for Fiscal Sanity. None. As a result, Texas Republicans are following the path of their counterparts in Washington, DC. The only difference is geography. Just like DC Republicans, Texas Republican legislators repeatedly squander legislative sessions, not using their majority to get long-promised reforms passed. Many of these issues have been talked about for at least the last FIVE legislative sessions (and have appeared longer than that as TX GOP Platform planks), which leads us to conclude that Republican leadership no longer values the grassroots or the values they claimed when running for office. They will continue to lose seats because they fail to do what they promise.
We had a purple legislative session because too many Republican elected officials have turned purple. Now, they are putting Texas at risk in 2020.
For those who cannot seem to grasp the reason behind our discontent, conservative grassroots leaders and activists across Texas are not happy because…
“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own. What you tolerate, you deserve.” Michelle Malkin
Grassroots America has never supported purple, progressive Republicans who love Big Government if they can be in charge of it. We don’t intend to start now. Texas is at stake.
JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America – We the People PAC
ALF Editor’s note: If we are going to get stiffed, then I’d rather be stiffed by an enemy than a friend. So what will you do in November 2020 if Governor Abbott does not give us a Special Session that passes any or all of the 5 priorities of the Republican Party of Texas Platform? This is not a rhetorical question. Write me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute?" Psalm 94:20
"My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law." Psalm 119: 136
The 2019 (86th) Legislative Session was the worst legislative session ever. I feel totally and completely betrayed. Something foul is underfoot - like a pervasive evil that has overtaken the people and the process. The state budget increased by 16%; property tax relief went to hell in a hand basket; election integrity bills were completely obliterated - along with honest elections; mental health bills disguising as school safety bills federalized public education while usurping the last precious prerogatives of parents, and a shocking abdication of responsibility to preserve our history and historical monuments slapped us in the face, sending a shock wave through our state. All done with Republican majorities in both chambers, as well as having a Republican Governor and Lt. Governor.
We have State legislators acting as oligarchs, bought and paid for by special interests, thinking that their job is to save the world. At the same time, we the sheeple have bought into the lie of separating Religion & Politics, Church & State, and God & Government. (BTW, God never did that!) The pastors are silent, the flock is asleep, and the elitist, globalist, corporatist foxes have run away with the hen house.
The only path we can take to recover the authority we unwittingly ceded to all levels of government is to put God back on the throne. We need a spiritual awakening. We do not have a political problem; we have a spiritual problem. We do not need a political solution; we need a spiritual solution. Indeed, all of the traditional, conventional methods of working with Texas lawmakers have utterly failed and actually mocked us. Said another way, political means and methods are dead to me. And so are the Republican officials who have sold us to the highest bidder. (Except for a few faithful ones.)
If you see what I see and feel called to do something, I beg you to do 3 simple things.
First, PRAY unceasingly for a spiritual revival, starting in your own heart and then moving massively throughout this nation.
Second, JOIN the 153 opinion leaders across the State who have already signed and delivered a letter to Governor Abbott asking him to veto SB 11, HB 18, and HB 19, all really bad bills that destroy due process, obliterate parental rights, and funnel millions to cronies. This call, albeit a conventional and traditional practice, is just the beginning. Expect more bold nonconventional tactics in the future.
Third, ASK your pastors to preach the whole Truth: that biblical principles are the basis for everything, including public policy. Write me if you need help here.
Governor Abbott Contacts:
PHONE: 512.463.2000 or 512.463.1782 after hours
TWEET: @GregAbbott_TX and @GovAbbott
MESSAGE on Facebook @TexansForAbbott
For information on the bill authors, co-authors, and votes, click here.
About the Author:
Beth Biesel is the Editor of the americanlibertyforum.org "What's New" Blog
American Liberty Forum
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